Pandora ditches Flash for new site design

new pandoraPandora announced this morning that it now has over 100 million users, and that isn’t the only exciting thing happening for the music streaming service. Soon the site will begin rolling out an entirely new design – one that won’t only look better, but work better. Pandora will begin opting to use HTML5 on the front-end, which should create “a much faster experience.”

Saying goodbye to Flash isn’t the only makeover though. The site’s UI will look like a combination of iTunes and Facebook (it has a big emphasis on social integration), and while it won’t isolate users who have grown accustomed to Pandora, it’s a new, nice polish for the site. The controls will appear centered in a top control bar, like many desktop music applications. And while old Pandora pushed your personal player off to the left hand side, it will now be front and center.

A great-looking site is nothing to scoff at, but the fact the Pandora’s music curation process is getting an upgrade is more crucial for the service. CTO Tom Conrad told TechCrunch about the process: When you create a new station, the suggestions are no longer only keyboard-based but also take into account your own voting and listening habits. The Music Feed section also shows you what your friends and other Pandora users are listening and dishing precious thumbs up out to. In a Turntable-like move, you can listen in and like their choices as well.

Focusing on the social aspect of the site has been a major part of the revamp. While Pandora has integrated with both Twitter and Facebook, it’s trying to implement social elements more organically instead of seemingly tacking them on. The profile is a much more central piece to your account now, and the Music Feed works and looks like your Facebook News Feed. You can also choose to share what you’re listening to via Pandora’s Music Feed, or Facebook or Twitter. Users don’t have to participate in these social networking features of course, and can opt for private profiles.

The Pandora redesign will begin rolling out incrementally, starting this week with Pandora One subscribers.

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